Democratic mega-donor and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs bolsters her political force and brings in heavyweights such as former Massachusetts Congress member Joe Kennedy, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, to broker relationships in Washington, DC.
Powell Jobs' organization Emerson Collective hired Kennedy as a senior advisor this month, Recode learned from an internal announcement. The former legislator becomes one of the most prominent figures to work at the 150-strong organization, bringing a Rolodex with valuable political contacts at the start of a new democratic government.
“In this role, he will be a trusted associate who provides advice on how we can advance our policy priorities and our broader mission to build an America that is more equal and fair for all,” reads the Emerson note obtained. by Recode.
The representative for Massachusetts' fourth congressional district rose to prominence after delivering Trump's Democratic response to the state of the Union in 2018. who was more than three decades older than him and was a prominent progressive voice in his own right. The race, which Kennedy lost, drew national attention and raised questions about the best direction for the party. Powell Jobs donated $ 5,600 to support Kennedy in his insurgent flight.
Powell Jobs is entering a new phase in her political clout: She and Emerson have largely been on the defensive against the Trump administration for the past four years, particularly on immigration policy, when she tried to stop Trump's attempt. end the DACA program for undocumented young immigrantsNow, with a kinder board that strongly supported Powell Jobs financially, Emerson will have the chance to play some kind of insult and make tangible progress on his policy priorities like immigration, an issue that requires a political touch.
"We now have the opportunity to work on the system solutions we know we need – solutions that can reshape the calcified systems in our country, from immigration and education to race and reconciliation, criminal justice and climate," Powell Jobs said in an email to supporters the weekend after the election was called. & # 39; We will release the breath we have been holding for so long. As festive as we feel, we also know that there is much work to be done – the work of healing the wounds and mending the fractures. "
Emerson has always had experts in its priority policy areas, but is now expanding its political and media chops. The organization has created two new roles, including one called Director of Campaigns and Partnerships, to run "communications and public affairs campaigns that strengthen our influence, media coverage, coalition development, messaging and stakeholder relationships." according to a vacancy
Also politically, Emerson Collective quietly invested in Civis Analytics last year, a leading democratic data company launched by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Recode is told.
Emerson & # 39; s work in Washington has long rolled to Chief of Staff Stacey Rubin, Powell Jobs & # 39; aide-de-camp and a former official in the Clinton administration. But adding Kennedy provides a new bridge for key politicians.
Kennedy has also taken on side gigs as a commentator on CNN; as an advisor to the Poor People's Campaign, an anti-poverty group; and a new political action committee has been started. In particular, the ever-rising star has not ruled out running to the office again